U.S. News

The Two-Way
10:39 am
Sat January 5, 2013

Gunman, Hostages Reported Dead In Aurora, Colo., Standoff

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 4:54 am

Four people are dead inside an Aurora, Colo., home Saturday following a standoff with an "armed and dangerous" man holding hostages, police say. Aurora is the Denver suburb where a gunman opened fire in a movie theater last July, killing 12 and injuring many more.

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Politics
4:56 am
Sat January 5, 2013

Pioneering N.H. Senator Looks Ahead To Next Term

Originally published on Sat January 5, 2013 7:59 am

Linda Wertheimer speaks with freshman Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire about the challenges facing the 113th Congress. Shaheen is a former governor of New Hampshire and a part of the state's new all-female delegation to Congress.

U.S.
4:56 am
Sat January 5, 2013

Mississippi's Low Water Levels Could Bar Barges

Originally published on Sat January 5, 2013 7:59 am

Barge traffic on the Mississippi River could grind to a halt in the next few days. Water levels on the nation's largest waterway are very low in certain parts of the river because of the most severe drought in decades. Guest host Linda Wertheimer talks to Mark Fletcher of Ceres Barge Line about how the shipping industry is coping with the lack of rain.

Sports
4:56 am
Sat January 5, 2013

NFL Playoffs Kick Off In A Season Of Rookies

Originally published on Sat January 5, 2013 7:59 am

The NFL playoffs get underway this weekend with four wildcard games. Three rookie quarterbacks are leading teams into the playoffs, and Baltimore Raven veteran Ray Lewis plays his last home game. Monday, Notre Dame faces Alabama in the college national championship game. Guest host Linda Wertheimer speaks with Howard Bryant of ESPN about these crucial games.

Author Interviews
4:56 am
Sat January 5, 2013

'The King Years': An Intersection Of Race And Politics

Originally published on Sat January 5, 2013 7:59 am

President Obama will be publicly sworn in for a second term on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a notable confluence of events. Historian Taylor Branch joins guest host Linda Wertheimer to talk about race and democracy, past and present. Branch's new book is The King Years: Historic Moments in the Civil Rights Movement.

Economy
3:27 am
Sat January 5, 2013

Long-Term Unemployed Seem To Be Staying That Way

Alecia Warthen, 43, has been unemployed since April. She says she's applied for more than 100 jobs and has received only four interviews and no offers.
Ailsa Chang NPR

Originally published on Sat January 5, 2013 10:42 am

The latest figures show December was another month of steady, moderate job growth. But for many people still struggling with long-term unemployment, the situation hasn't actually changed much at all.

For Alecia Warthen, the last eight months have been painfully stagnant.

She was the first person in her family to finish college, after growing up in one of the roughest sections of Brooklyn. She had earned an accounting degree and worked as a bookkeeper for most of the last decade.

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U.S.
3:26 am
Sat January 5, 2013

Illinois Claws At Mountain Of Unfunded Pension Liability

Illinois union members and supporters rally at the state Capitol on Thursday against legislation that would try to control the state's pension-fund shortfall by, in part, reducing pension benefits.
Seth Perlman AP

Originally published on Sat January 5, 2013 11:45 am

Illinois' pension-fund shortfall is by far the largest in the nation, and the clock is ticking for the state's governor and lawmakers to tackle the problem before a new Legislature is sworn in next week. So far, their proposals have stoked frustration from state employees and retirees.

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On Aging
4:14 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

Baby Boomers' Last Wishes: Motorcycle Hearses And Facebook Obits

Lew Bird says that before passing away, his friend requested that his funeral include one last ride on a motorcycle.
Peter Gray for NPR

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 5:02 pm

Old Aristocracy Hill isn't a part of Springfield, Ill., that draws a lot of attention. The quiet neighborhood dates back to before the Civil War, its historic homes now carefully preserved by proud business owners.

But outside a stately funeral home, a large black-and-chrome Harley Davidson motorcycle trike pulls out of the parking lot, towing a matching casket in its glass-sided trailer.

It's not something you would expect to see, but it's exactly what 67-year-old Lew Bird says his friend Dave Rondelli wanted: one last ride.

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Around the Nation
2:53 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

Foreigners Visiting 'Birth Hotels' In California Draw Local Ire

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 5:02 pm

Audie Cornish talks to Cindy Chang of the Los Angeles Times about the proliferation of so-called "birthing hotels" — homes in residential neighborhoods set up for foreign women, mostly Chinese, to come stay while they wait to give birth in the U.S. While it's not illegal to travel to the U.S. while pregnant, some of the "hotel" operators are breaking zoning and building ordinances, raising the ire of neighbors.

Business
2:52 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

Electric Companies Surprising Winners In New Tax Package

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 5:02 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. The new last-minute tax deal cobbled together by Congress and the White House has produced at least one surprise winner, electric companies. That's because the two sides agreed not to increase the taxes that most people pay on dividends. NPR's Elizabeth Shogren explains why that is welcome news to the electricity business.

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Politics
2:51 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

Potential Geithner Departure Could Complicate Debt Ceiling Battle

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 5:02 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

President Obama may be going into the next big budget fight without his long-time treasury secretary. Timothy Geithner had been planning to leave before the start of the president's second term, but that would mean he is departing with the debt ceiling still looming and the Treasury scrambling to keep up with the government's bills.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

NPR's Scott Horsley joins us now. And, Scott, Secretary Geithner has made no secret of his plans to leave the government, but it sounds like his departure could be complicated.

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Media
2:50 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

With Current TV Purchase, Al Jazeera Buys Opportunity For New Viewers

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 12:44 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Now, evidence that size really doesn't matter - that is, size of audience. Al Gore sold the cable channel he started, Current TV, to al-Jazeera for $500 million. How many eyeballs does the Qatari-owned news channel get for that money? Well, here's some context. Here are some TV audience numbers. When NBC came in first among the broadcast networks for viewers last week, Neilson estimated they had 7.3 million viewers.

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Around the Nation
2:50 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

U.S. Unemployment Rate Held Steady In December

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 5:02 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

We got a snapshot of the economy at the end of 2012 today. And if you are hoping for a big change in this morning's jobs report, the picture is probably disappointing. In short, it's more of the same.

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Animals
2:48 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

Disappearing Mule Deer A New Reality Throughout Western U.S.

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 5:02 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. Scientists throughout the west are investigating a mysterious disappearance. Mule deer are vanishing. In Colorado, Wyoming and Utah, populations are half what they were in the 1970s. From Aspen Public Radio, Luke Runyon reports on some possible reasons.

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Media
2:47 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

N.Y. Newspaper At Center Of Debate Over Guns After Revealing Permit Holders

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 5:02 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Politics
2:45 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

Congress Approves Nearly $10 Billion In Superstorm Sandy Aid

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 5:02 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. New York and New Jersey and getting some much needed federal disaster relief, but at least for now, it's far less than the state's leaders have requested. Today, Congress approved nearly $10 billion to replenish the National Flood Insurance program. The move comes after a major blowup earlier this week when House leaders failed to act on a larger aid package. NPR's Tamara Keith has our story.

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Religion
2:37 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

Amid Instability In Egypt, Coptic Christians Flee To U.S.

Egyptian Coptic Christians celebrate Christmas Nativity Liturgy, the start of Christmas, at the Coptic Orthodox Church of St. George in Brooklyn last January.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 3:38 pm

Coptic Christians will celebrate Christmas on Monday, and many will do so outside their native Egypt. Since the revolution there, their future in the country has looked uncertain, and many are resettling in the United States.

Their population in the U.S. may have grown by nearly 30 percent, according to rough estimates. One church that has felt its membership swell with new arrivals from Egypt is in the Queens borough of New York. St. Mary and St. Antonios Coptic Orthodox Church boasts more than 1,000 families, says the Rev. Michael Sorial.

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Faith Matters
9:39 am
Fri January 4, 2013

For Many Orthodox, Christmas Is Just Beginning

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

I'm Celeste Headlee, in for Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. Coming up: We asked you to tweet your ideas on how to bring peace into your life in 2013. We'll hear some of those responses in just a few minutes.

But, first, it's time for Faith Matters. That's the part of the program when we talk about issues of faith, religion and spirituality. Today, we want to talk about Christmas. That's right, Christmas.

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Shots - Health News
1:30 am
Fri January 4, 2013

Bargain Over Fiscal Cliff Brings Changes To Health Care

A compromise bill that passed the Congress at the last minute included provisions that will reverberate through the nation's health care system.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 6:46 am

The bill that prevented the nation from plunging over the fiscal cliff did more than just stop income tax increases and delay across-the-board spending cuts. It also included several provisions that tweaked Medicare and brought bigger changes to other health care programs.

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Science
1:28 am
Fri January 4, 2013

From Canada To Latin America, The Christmas Bird Count Is On

From left, bird-watchers John Williamson, Donna Quinn, Bruce Hill and Frances Raskin try to spot as many different species as possible during this season's bird count in Loudoun County, Va.
Veronique LaCapra NPR

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 6:46 am

Every year at around this time, tens of thousands of people take part in a kind of bird-watching marathon. From Canada to Latin America and throughout the United States, participants will get up in the middle of the night. Some brave frigid winter temperatures, and many do whatever else it takes to count as many birds as they can in 24 hours.

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StoryCorps
1:27 am
Fri January 4, 2013

A Single Mom's Toughness Pays Off

Reginald Mason, 47, says he owes his successes to his mother, who kept him disciplined during a financially tough upbringing.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 6:46 am

Reginald Mason was 11 when his father died, so his mother raised him in Harlem by herself.

"She made me and shaped me as a man," Mason, now 47, told StoryCorps, "which, to me, was very difficult for a woman to do without a father being around."

She did a good job, Mason said — despite her toughness.

"The first time my mother told me that she actually loved me, I was 32," he said.

Mason recalls watching his mother struggle financially.

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The Two-Way
4:15 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

Kansas Presses Sperm Donor To Pay Child Support

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 5:36 pm

A Kansas man's decision to donate sperm to help a lesbian couple conceive a child in 2009 has landed him in a complicated legal case, as a state agency is now pursuing him for child support payments. William Marotta, 46, is asking a judge to dismiss the case, which has grabbed national attention.

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Superstorm Sandy: Before, During And Beyond
3:29 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

After Sandy, Can The Jersey Shore Come Home Again?

A woman walks past a cabana complex pulled off its foundations by Superstorm Sandy in Sea Bright, N.J., in November.
Seth Wenig AP

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 6:25 pm

Think about it and you'll start to realize how important the Jersey shore is to American culture. Sure there's the television show Jersey Shore, but there are more enduring signs. Consider the board game Monopoly; properties are named after Atlantic City locations. And during a television fundraiser for Superstorm Sandy victims in November, comedian Jimmy Fallon talked specifically about the Jersey Shore.

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Energy
3:29 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

Wind Industry Secures Tax Credit, But Damage May Be Done

Wind turbines dwarf a church near Wilson, Kan. Although Congress voted to extend a wind energy tax credit, the temporary uncertainty dealt a blow to the industry.
Charlie Riedel AP

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 4:10 pm

The wind energy industry is dependent on something even more unpredictable than wind: Congress. Hidden in the turmoil over the "fiscal cliff" compromise was a tax credit for wind energy.

Uncertainty over the credit had lingered long before the last-minute political push, causing the industry to put off further long-term planning. So while the now-approved tax credit revives prospects for an industry facing tens of thousands of layoffs, don't expect to see many new turbines coming up soon.

Growing Uncertainty

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Economy
2:52 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

Increased Payroll Taxes Pinch Some Middle Class Families

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 6:58 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

We may have avoided the fiscal cliff for the moment, but most Americans will still feel a dip in their take home pay this year. That's because payroll taxes that fund Social Security were not on the negotiating table this week in Congress. They are resetting back up to where they were at the end of 2010. It's an increase of two percentage points.

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Around the Nation
2:52 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

Aurora Theater Reopens, Angering Some Family Members Of Victims

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 4:10 pm

Less than six months after a lone gunman shot up a theater at the Century Aurora 16 theater in Aurora, Colo., killing 12 people and injuring at least 58, the movie house is slated to reopen. Several family members of victims, after being invited to participate in reopening events, wrote a letter to Cinemark, owner of the theater, expressing their shock as the company's lack of sensitivity. Audie Cornish speaks with reporter Ryan Parker who has followed these events for the Denver Post.

Law
2:52 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

Father Or Sperm Donor? Kansas Case Says Distinction Comes From A Doctor

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 4:10 pm

A Kansas man who donated his sperm to a lesbian couple is now being pressed by the state to pay child support. Robert Siegel talks to Tim Hrenchir of the Topeka Capital-Journal, about the case. He has been covering it for the newspaper.

Technology
2:52 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

FTC Closes Google Anti-Trust Investigation Without Penalties

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 7:02 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The Federal Trade Commission has closed its long-running antitrust investigation of Google. The search giant avoided any financial penalties, and the FTC's move is widely seen as a victory for Google. NPR's Steve Henn has been following the story and joins us now to fill us in on the details. And, Steve, this investigation has been going on for years. And now that it's over, I mean, how big a victory is it really for Google?

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Around the Nation
2:52 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

White House's 'We The People' Petitions Find Mixed Success

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 4:10 pm

The retro way to get the attention of the White House was to write an op-ed in a high profile newspaper, lobby Congress, or maybe even stage a march on Washington. Today all you need to do is click a few buttons. In 2011 the White House created a petitioning website called "We the People." Petitions that gather 25,000 or more signatures within 30 days receive an administration response. After more than a year in operation, Audie Cornish checks in with Jim Snider, a Harvard fellow who studies democratic reform in the information age, about the site's effectiveness.

U.S.
1:55 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

Hit-And-Run Deaths Increase, But Culprits Hard To Capture

Officers Carol Mitchell and John Hill investigate the death of a disabled teen who was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver in Los Angeles.
Gloria Hillard for NPR

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 4:10 pm

Pedestrian and cyclist fatalities are increasing nationwide, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and Los Angeles and New York City have the highest rates of those deaths.

In Los Angeles, where the car is the major mode of transportation, hit and runs involving pedestrians occur almost daily. But these crimes can be the most difficult for law enforcement to investigate and solve.

People Don't Want To Get Involved

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